I remember when I wasn’t woke. In fact, to my chagrin, it was the majority of my life. My mother raised me to love everyone. *Everyone*. I was that white person who would say, “I don’t see color,” without realizing how much privilege was wrapped up into that simple sentence. The idea of struggle, through race or sexuality, was foreign to me.
One of my good friends in high school came out as gay. Figures, I had a crush on him.
Another friend came out as gay. Figures, I had a crush on him too.
That dude I had a crush on all through high school? Yeah. He was gay too.
So was that other one. And…..that other one. Wait…that other ex ended up marrying a trans chick.
All I’m saying is that loving the gays has never been an issue for me! LOL What I *have* struggled with is realizing that passive racism is a serious thing, as is misogyny. My ex-husband was this angry white man, who couldn’t stop complaining how hard he had it, that no matter how hard he worked, he never had everything he wanted…so therefore privilege didn’t exist. I couldn’t understand his anger, where the source flowed from. I watched him loudly debate with my bi-racial roommates, whose roots stem from Hawaiian ancestry, telling them how many programs availed them opportunities that were not open to him. I remember wondering who was right, who was wrong. Was he right about privilege not existing or had I been ignoring the idea of color and inadvertently causing microaggressions left and right?
Yes. I had.
The past two years, I have evolved. I have evolved to the point where I lost a lot of friends and gained new ones. An old friend, who I had to dismiss from my life, asked me when I became so intolerant of other viewpoints, when in reality, I just woke up and decided oppression wasn’t the appropriate status quo. I saw legit poverty in my travels, genuine oppression and realized that as the world leader of freedom, we have a responsibility to say that equal rights doesn’t have a cap. Women cannot be told they have “enough,” and should stop “being emotional and whiney.” I am building a business brand on the minority, the people who need a warrior who isn’t afraid to be outspoken.
I’m not for everyone. But I don’t like everyone anyway.
So I went and did the Women’s March. I wore a Free Hugs sign and hugged so many strangers, I couldn’t tolerate my own cat touching me that evening. But people NEEDED hugs. People needed to see a stranger offer kindness, in a world where we’re told we’re given “enough” kindness.
My ex-boyfriend came by to drop off some things and mentioned how I couldn’t keep his sweater because it was a “man’s sweater.” I joked that he wasn’t allowed to bring around that gender specific rhetoric and he sighed, simply saying, “I don’t miss that. All of that feminist talk.”
Well. I don’t miss you and your misogyny. Boy bye. Let the door hit you on the ass. Because I am a strong, loud feminist who loves too much and feels too much and won’t apologize for fighting for others. Sure, I’m not gay, I’m not black, I’m not a minority as a whole. But I will fight for the rights of others, because it is the right thing to do.